Naini Coal Block Allotted After Years Of Expansion Plans It’s a dream come true for Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL). After several years of planning to expand its operations, the coal giant finally has a coal block outside the state in its kitty with the Union government allotting it the Naini coal block in Odisha. SCCL, which is one of the largest coal producers in the country, has 32 underground and 16 opencast mines in Telangana and produces over 50 million tonnes of coal every year. It has been planning to expand its activities outside the state and overseas for quite sometime now.Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had earlier asked the company to explore options of expanding its operations to South Africa, Mozambique and Indonesia.
The allocation of Naini block comes in the wake of the cancellation of 214 allotted coal blocks by the Supreme Court in September last year and the Centre deciding to conduct a fresh auction. When the new auctions were announced, the Telangana energy department wrote to the Union coal ministry in December 2014 requesting the Centre to allot coal blocks to SCCL in Chattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
“The Union government has officially communicated its decision on Naini coal block to Singareni. We have paid Rs 25 crore as upfront fees and provided Rs 127 crore in bank guarantees to the coal ministry. Other procedures will also be cleared soon,” an SCCL spokesperson told TOI. SCCL was given the block under the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) quota of 43 coal blocks to companies which have links to power generation companies.SCCL is a government company with 51% of the equity held by Telangana and 49% by the Centre.
SCCL is currently constructing a 1,200 M W p ower plant ( two units of 600 MW each) at a cost of Rs 3,750 crore at Jaipur in Adilabad district. The plant is expected to begin commercial operation by the first quarter of next year. The Naini coal block has been given by the Centre considering these thermal power plants.
The Naini coal block, which has 300 million tones of coal reserves, also has 150 million tonnes of crude reserves. The block spreads over nine sq kms of which about 700 hectares is forest area and the rest government and patta land, officials said.
“Operations in Naini will begin after completion of mandatory procedures such as public hearing for environmental clearances, approvals for mining plans, entering into lease agreements and other permissions from various central and state agencies,” a senior SCCL official said.